E3 2006: Ubisoft Shows Off Enchanted Arms
05.11.06 - 1:20 PM

While Ubisoft has a variety of titles from a variety of genres to present to gamers, RPG lovers found themselves drawn to the playable demo of Enchanted Arms. Developed by From Software, this Xbox 360 RPG looked absolutely gorgeous.

Battles take place on a grid, but the style of fighting is entirely turn-based. Within battle, the player controls three humans and one "golem" (creatures created by mankind) to fight the enemies. The grid has a line down the middle that separates the enemy side and the player side, so while formation is key, sneak attacks won't be possible. The mix of traditional turn-based combat and strategy are what make the battles exciting.

The golems are of particular interest, and are a key part of the game's plot. According to legend, golems were created by man in the past, and then sealed away due to their enormous power. Recently, however, golems have been let loose; some for good, and some for evil. Throughout the game, your party will be able to recruit up to 75 golems for use in battle.

Though not as impressive as the incredible FMV CG cutscenes, the in-game environments are still worthy of the description "next-gen." When significant dialogues take place, enlarged characters appear fully animated on the screen with lip movement matching the spoken dialogue.

At the time of the demo's release, vocals were still in Japanese. Ubisoft's product manager told us that the English dialogue has already been recorded in full. When asked if they would choose to retain the option to listen to Japanese dialogue, they told us that they had originally wanted to do it, but it did not seem feasible due to disc space.

This large-scale RPG claims a length of 40 to 60 hours of play.

After scoping out this fine-looking game, we asked Ubisoft about their recent trend of publishing RPGs in the US and Europe. In the last year, we've seen Ubisoft publish two DS RPGs, one PS2 RPG, and in Europe, Tales of Eternia on PSP. Without Ubisoft's work in localization, many games would never have made it to America. Multiple staff members at Ubisoft expressed to us that it is the company's desire to cater to a broader audience, including the RPG fanbase. They consider it an opportunity to "branch out into new territory." We couldn't have been more pleased to hear them say so.

Expect Enchanted Arms to reach American shores before the end of 2006.


Patrick Gann